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Lloyd Grove is The Daily News' newest gossip columnist, joining us from The Washington Post, where he wrote the widely read 'Reliable Source' column.


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A war of words breaks out
between young novelists

Is literary young'un Nick McDonell afraid of confronting rival tyro Marty Beckerman?

Lowdown hears that McDonell, a 20-year-old Harvard junior, canceled his appearance at a Sept. 28 "Feed the Young Writers" panel when he found out that he'd be sharing the stage with his chief detractor.

The 21-year-old Beckerman, whose second novel, "Generation S.L.U.T.," is being made into an HBO film, savaged McDonell's debut novel, "Twelve," in a New York Press review, calling it "self-serving swill from a rich kid with connections." (McDonell's father, Terry, is the managing editor of Sports Illustrated and his godfather is his publisher, Grove/Atlantic Books owner Morgan Entrekin.)

Panel organizer Ned Vizzini gave a much blander reason for McDonell's nonappearance at Performance Space 122 in the East Village: "Nick McDonell isn't doing it because he's busy with other things."

McDonell supported this version in an e-mail: "I declined because I was busy. Always happy to clear up confusion."

But Beckerman insisted: "I think if Nick wanted to take a day off he could have. ... He thought I was trashing his family in the review. Nick said he'd forgive me for talking s-- if I'd just buy him a beer. Nick's dad should get his publisher to buy him a beer."

Originally published on September 20, 2004

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